DOE site workers may be eligible for compensation

DENISE BROCK (center) recently spoke with the St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council about compensation and medical coverage members who worked on former Department of Energy sites may be due. With Brock at the table are Building Trades Executive Secretary-Treasurer John Stiffler (left) and President Frank Jacobs, business manager of IBEW Local 1. – Labor Tribune photo



Denise Brock, ombudsman to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), is spreading the word to Department of Energy (DOE) production and construction workers about free medical screenings and compensation they may be due as a result of the materials they were exposed to under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.

The Act, passed by Congress in 2000 established a fund to compensate workers and their families who were made ill or died due to their work in nuclear weapons facilities or working on former sites, with up to $400,000 in compensation, plus medical benefits provided.

“There are about 370 facilities across the United States that were involved in this type of work from the Manhattan Project, the Cold War and going forward,” Brock told members at a recent meeting of the St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council.

“There are production workers that did this type of work, but we also have construction trades people who were involved in construction, dismantling and cleanup that had very unique exposure,” Brock said. “They are also considered covered under every Department of Energy site.  They are eligible for free medical screening specific to the building trades. In the state of Missouri, we have paid out over $200 million so far in monetary compensation dollars and medical benefits. Nationwide it’s $22 billion and it does not have a sunset on it, this will continue on as long as people file claims.”

The funding for the program comes from the U.S. Treasury Department and is called by some an “Apology Payment” to those who did this dangerous work.

Tradesmen and women that may be eligible for compensation for having worked on these sites include boilermakers, carpenters, electricians, iron workers, laborers, pipefitters and others.

“If you have somebody that worked at one of these sites, this is monetary, up to $400,000, tax free, but on top of that, the medical benefits,” Brock told Building Trades Council delegates. “You do not want that coming out of your health and welfare fund, you don’t want to deplete that.”

Brock urged union business managers to work with their members to determine if they are eligible for compensation.

The Building Trades National Medical Screening Program (BTMed) is a database that provides a listing of contractors and subcontractors with a known contractual relationship with various Department of Energy (DOE) facilities that are covered under the Compensation Program Act. It includes subcontractors on the Mallinkrodt Weldon Spring Plant, Mallinkrodt Chemical Company Destrehan Street Facility (downtown St. Louis) and the St. Louis Airport Storage Site among others, including sites in other states where local workers may have traveled for jobs.

NIOSH compiled and updates the list of contractors who worked on those sites to identify which workers may be at risk and add contractors whose employees may have been at risk, if their company isn’t currently listed.

“If it’s not on there, doesn’t mean you’re out,” Brock said. “We just have to add it or do what we can do to prove that that person was out there.”

More information is available at or by contacting BTMed at 800-866-9663.


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